Friday, May 27, 2011

Fact Friday-New Willow Creek Policies!

Effective July 1, 2011, patients who are self pay (uninsured) or have a high deductible insurance plan will be required to pay $50 at the time of your appointment to go towards the cost of that day's visit. Along with the implementation of this policy, if you have a past due balance on your account, you will be asked to pay your balance at check in as well.

With the new health care laws going into effect, many insurances no longer require a copay for preventative care (well child exams and vaccines). Please contact your insurance company prior to your visit if you are unsure of your insurance policy requirements.

If you ever have any questions regarding your statements from Wasatch Pediatrics, feel free to contact our billing office at (801) 947-0830 or via e-mail at They will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day

The doctors and staff of Willow Creek Pediatrics would like to wish our patients and their families a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

As with every holiday, there will be a doctor available on Memorial Day to see patients with urgent medical problems. We will book patients in consecutive order and stay until our latest scheduled patient is seen. If you need an appointment or need medical advice, please feel free to contact the office after 9:30 am that day! And as always, there is always a doctor available to speak to if you need immediate medical advice!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Awesome Insect Repellent Info!

Memorial Weekend is quickly approaching and many people probably have camping trips planned, or have big plans to spend a lot of time outside (hopefully the sun will come out for us!) Along with camping and outdoors season comes many many questions about insect repellent. Nobody wants those pesky critters hanging around and chomping on their kids or on them!

The following is a link to an article from Consumer Research that provides an insect repellent review and what ingredients to look for in insect repellents:

This article is provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and provides some great answers to frequently asked questions about insect repellent:

If you are looking for a natural alternative to manufactured insect repellent (some of them do smell pretty awful!), this article provides an awesome alternative to what is sold in the stores:

If you ever have questions about what to look for in insect repellents for your child, please do not hesitate in contacting your physician!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fact Friday: National Kids to Parks Day is May 21

To spotlight the importance of outdoor activity, tomorrow May 21st is National Kids to Park Day. The AAP is a partner in National Kids to Parks Day, a new campaign from the National Park Trust (NPT).

The purpose of the day is to mobilize children across the country for a nationwide park "play-in." Thousands of children already have committed to visit a national, state or local park on May 21 by signing up at NPT’s Buddy Bison Web site. The site includes resources for families for healthy, outdoor living. Kids are encouraged to participate in social media around the event.

We are hopeful for good weather tomorrow so try and get out and visit a national park, or a park in your community. Encourage play and the outdoors in the same day!

For more information about National Kids to Parks Day, visit
Here are a few more links to check out

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Be prepared this summer: Pool Safety

We know right now it seems like the sun will never come out! However, soon your child will be wanting to go play outside. We thought we would give you some great tips about "Pool Safety" as you make plans for the summer months. In the next few weeks we will be giving you several Tips for Summer and if we can help with a specific topic, please let us know.

Pool Safety Tips-From the AAP

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.

  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.

  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.

  • If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool.

  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.

  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.

  • Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.

  • The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child’s developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.

  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.

  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers. Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

  • Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

    To read more about this article Click here
    Other websites to check out

  • Source:

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Guest Blog: Part four Play the Key to Creativity

    We welcome Amanda Morgan, from Not Just Cute, back for our final part to our Creativity Series. We hope you have enjoyed this series as much as we have! Look to the bottom of this article for a special on the Ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance.

    Play: The Key to Creativity

    It has been said that play is a child’s work. While play has been around since the dawn of time, the science of play is relatively new. What some may consider to be only a frivolous pastime for children has, over the last century, been uncovered as a powerful tool for learning, a key to creativity and innovation, and, some would argue, a biological necessity akin to sleep.

    Researchers, like Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play, assert that play is more than just good fun, and even more than a way to practice and imitate skills for the future. Play, they submit, is a necessary component to healthy human development. It helps build emotional regulation, appropriate risk-taking behaviors, abstract thinking, curiosity, and resiliency. Incorporating neuroscience, they have found that play “lights up the brain” and builds intelligence in a truly unique way.

    And yet, while the science of play is gaining ground, the actual occurrence of play seems to be diminishing in our culture.

    As this article in the New York Times stated, “The average 3 year-old can pick up an iPhone and expertly scroll through the menu of apps, but how many 7 year-olds can organize a kickball game with the neighborhood kids?”

    The Nuts and Bolts of Play

    Play comes in many forms. It may be the toddler pulling pans from the kitchen cupboard, the preschoolers dressing up and holding a royal ball, or a passel of friends racing down the sidewalk. The one common component of play is that it is enjoyable and intrinsically driven.

    Back in the early thirties, researcher Mildred Parten outlined six stages of social play, ranging from unoccupied play and onlooker play on to full cooperative play. This theory recognized play as something that could take on many different social forms. While a group of children playing together is easily recognizable, a child simply watching another is also a form of play. More recently, the National Institute for Play has outlined seven patterns or types of play including movement and object play as well as the less obvious types such as the emotional interactions constituting attunement play.

    One aspect of play that has even Corporate America paying attention, is its ability to unlock creativity and innovation. In his TED presentation, Tim Brown, CEO of design firm, IDEO points out the firm’s “back to preschool” climate to encourage innovation. Other businesses like movie-maker Pixar, and dominating internet presence, Google, also encourage playfulness and exploration in their corporate culture as a way to spark ingenuity. The Stanford Institute of Design even offers a course entitled, From Play to Innovation, where participants study the development of play and its behaviors and apply those elements in innovative corporate design.

    What innovative entities are beginning to recognize is that a culture of playfulness engenders divergent thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to create “something from nothing”. People who are good “players” tend to be more creative, resourceful, and in many instances, it helps people do their jobs better and enjoy them more when there is an element of play.

    By nature, children seem to be good players. They immediately ask, “What is that and what else can I do with it?”, they see new perspectives through role-play, and effortlessly engage others in a common cause (whether that’s building a fort, storming a castle, or a good old-fashioned game of Red Rover).

    So how can child’s play be in danger?

    What comes so easily by nature can easily be lost to a lack of nurture. Some blame the emphasis on academic achievement which, while the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, appears to be pushing play from preschools and recess from school schedules. Others cite the fast pace of American culture, moving adults and children alike from one scheduled event to the next.

    Personalities also play a role as some parents and teachers may be more or less comfortable with relinquishing control and allowing children room to play. Play can be chaotic and messy. It’s often much easier, faster, and cleaner to turn to technology and flip on the TV or start up a video game.

    But when children are allowed to be bored, they learn to take initiative, show leadership, organize, and problem solve as they decide how, with what, and with whom they will play. They think outside of the box and create something to do when it seems there is nothing.

    And, Dr. Stuart Brown contends, play is not just for children. Humans are biologically designed to play --- for a lifetime. Benefits extend into adulthood and include mental flexibility, stress release, and just plain happiness.

    So find time for you and your children to play --- together and on your own. We can all reap the benefits!

    Additional Resources:

    The National Institute for Play

    Want to Get Your Kids Into College? Let Them Play
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    Stuart Brown Says Play is More than Fun {TED Talks}

    Effort To Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum {New York Times}

    Tim Brown on Creativity and Play {TED Talks}

    Top photo by D. Sharon Pruitt.

    Amanda is offering our patients a discount on her Ebook just use "CREEK" for $1 off the ebook, good through the 22nd.

    Amanda Morgan is a full time mom to three busy boys, a part-time trainer and consultant for a non-profit children's organization and author of the ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance, available here. She also writes at Not Just Cute, a blog full of ideas that are more than just cute, for children who are much more than cute too. We thank her for being our first Guest Post and for giving us so much information on how to keep our kids being Creative! Please continue to follow her blog and watch for more of her Guest post in the future! Thanks Amanda!

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Fact Friday - Another Infant CPR Training!

    Announcing Infant CPR Courses for Parents!

    Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    The class will last approximately 1 hour

    $15 per person

    15-20 spots available

    To sign up, please speak with our office coordinator, Margie. You can contact her by calling the office or email her at

    Spots will be offered on a first come first serve basis!

    This is only a CPR class, NOT certification. It will be taught by Christine Keddington, who is certified to teach CPR.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Reminder on Sun Protection

    Utah has crazy weather! Last week we had a few days of that glorious sunshine and we are expecting more this week. So even on this cloudy day we thought it was a good reminder to wear sunscreen or appropriate sun protection--

    Sun Safety
    What's the best way to protect my child in the sun?
    Follow these simple rules to protect your family from sunburns now and from skin cancer later in life.

    •Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
    •When possible, dress yourself and your kids in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, like lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.
    •Select clothes made with a tight weave - they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you’re not sure how tight a fabric’s weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better.
    •Wear a hat or cap with a brim that faces forward to shield the face.
    •Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when UV rays are strongest.
    •Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection (look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child).

    •Use sunscreen.
    •Set a good example. You can be the best teacher by practicing sun protection yourself. Teach all members of your family how to protect their skin and eyes.

    Sunscreen can help protect the skin from sunburn and some skin cancers, but only if used correctly. Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.
    How to Pick Sunscreen
    •Use a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label - that means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
    •Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection the sunscreen has.
    •Look for the new UVA “star” rating system on the label. ◦One star is low UVA protection.
    ◦Two stars is medium protection. ◦Three stars is high protection. ◦Four stars is the highest UVA protection available in an over-the-counter sunscreen product.
    •For sensitive areas of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and the shoulders, choose a sunscreen or sunblock with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. While these products usually stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in, some now come in fun colors that kids enjoy.

    Sunscreen for Babies
    •For Babies younger than 6 months. Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and the backs of the hands, if protective clothing and shade are not available.
    •For babies older than 6 months. Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates her skin, try a different brand or try a sunscreen stick or sunscreen or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.

    How to apply sunscreen
    •Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, and hands and even the backs of the knees. Rub it in well.
    •Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin.
    •Use sunscreen any time you or your child might sunburn. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days. Also, UV rays can bounce back from water, sand, snow, and concrete so make sure you’re protected.
    •Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Sunscreen wears off after swimming, sweating, or just from soaking into the skin.

    *info from and the AAP

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Guest Blog: Part Three~ Creative Genius

    We welcome Amanda Morgan from Not Just Cute back again for the third installment of our series on creativity. If you missed the first two articles, you can get caught up by clicking here for week one, and here for week two! Enjoy!!

    Creative Genius: Tinkering and Problem Solving

    In this article from the Wall Street Journal, as well as in this TED Talk, Steven Johnson tells a fascinating story of an Indonesian city, devastated by the tsunami in 2004. This city had received eight high-tech neo-natal incubators from relief organizations to aid them in caring for their youngest patients. Several years later, a researcher visited the hospital in Indonesia and found that not one of those incubators was still in working order. And so they sat, broken, in storage. The researcher, Timothy Prestero, a fellow from MIT, noticed this was a common occurrence in many parts of the developing world. Charitable organizations would provide them with $40,000 life-saving incubators, but after a some time the devices would inevitably break. These countries didn't have the means, the materials, or the training to fix the complicated machines.

    So Prestero and his organization set out to create a neo-natal incubator that could save lives, but also be serviced more simply. They looked around at the context and constraints of the third-world countries. One thing they noticed was that while they may lack many techno-toys, most of these countries still had cars - and people who could fix them! So they worked for years to create an incubator that relied on the same parts and expertise as an automobile. What they came up with was The NeoNurture, a fully-functioning incubator that could be repaired by local people using easily accessible car parts.To Steven Johnson, this is a perfect metaphor for where good ideas come from ( which is, incidentally, the title of his newest book). Working to solve real challenges, moving within the parameters of what is known and available, and beyond to what Johnson refers to as the "adjacent possible" (a term borrowed from scientist, Stuart Kauffman). In example after example, innovation comes not when individuals sit in isolation, repeating facts, but when people work together tinkering with what they know and what they have and trying to apply it in new ways. They usually fail before they succeed, but it's just seen as part of the scientific process: testing hypotheses.

    So here are some ideas for encouraging creative problem solving.

    Loose Parts

    My four year-old son has recently discovered that he can write strings of letters together and ask me to read them. The sputtering of incomprehensible words is hilarious to him. To me, it signals that he is aware that words are made up of loose parts - letters- that can be moved and combined in a variety of ways to create a new product. It's this awareness that leads to further experimentation and inventive spelling that will continue to increase his ability to read and write. I could simply say, "That's not a real word, Honey." But I want him to tinker. It encourages the reciprocal processes of creating meaning and increasing understanding.

    Give children the opportunity to combine loose parts in new ways. Whether that means using pipe cleaners, playdough, and glitter to create a birthday cake; chairs, tables and blankets to build a fort; or a growing vocabulary to create a story, the idea is to take what you have and create something new by thinking outside of the box.

    Tinkering is not just about right/wrong answers, but about risking a few wrongs to finally get to the right. It's not about drilling individuals for answers, but encouraging them to build ideas together. It is a great skill to be able to see another's point of view and then either refute it, support it, or use it as a stepping stone to something more. Whether you're directly trying to teach new concepts or just encouraging curiosity about events around you, involve your children in discussions. Play Devil's Advocate now and then to push children to see things from another vantage point.

    Give time for the percolation of ideas. Children need to learn patience and persistence in problem-solving. Allow them to struggle with a challenge for a time. Approach the same concepts in new ways to give them another view. Johnson points out that for all the hype of the "Ah-ha moment", it is often actually a slow, growing process that brings us to a new realization.

    Constructive Problem Solving
    Dan Meyer is a high school math teacher in California. In his talk, Math Class Needs a Makeover, he points out the dangers of a formulaic approach to teaching. He asserts that too often we focus on teaching children how to follow set steps to solve math problems, when in reality the true engagement and skill comes from first getting them to ask the questions and discuss ideas. He quotes Einstein saying, "The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution..."

    I was lucky enough to have a few master teachers in my illustrious career as a public school student. One of my favorites was my high school calculus teacher. It was not uncommon for him to write a problem on the board, a step or two beyond the concepts we had mastered, and then turn to us and ask, "How can you solve this?" We would postulate and bounce ideas off of each other as he stood to the side with a pensive grin. I still vividly remember one day in particular when we finally cracked the challenge and came up with an answer, creating our own step-by-step approach along the way. He looked at it and said, "I hadn't thought of doing it that way, but I think it's better than what's in this book."

    That's what we need. Less time teaching books and more time teaching children. Less passive educating and more calls to creative problem solving.

    The standard approach would be to say, "Here's the formula, here's the problem, run the numbers and see if you're right." Instead he would essentially say, "Here is the statement/idea/observation. What is the problem? What do you already know that could help? What could you try?"

    This doesn't just take place in math class. Whether it's questions about how to spell a word, why the leaves change colors, or where that missing shoe is, we can encourage children to take an active role by turning the questions around. Ask them what they think and what they know. Then encourage them to tinker. Have them try. Let them fail. Watch them succeed. And talk about what you learn together along the way.

    What do you do to encourage your children to tinker?

    Top photo by César Rincón.

    Interesting Links:
    Dan Meyer: Math Class Needs a Makeover {TED Talks}

    Steve Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From {TED Talks}

    The Genius of the Tinkerer {WSJ}

    Amanda Morgan is a full time mom to three busy boys, a part-time trainer and consultant for a non-profit children's organization and author of the ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance, available here. She also writes at Not Just Cute, a blog full of ideas that are more than just cute, for children who are much more than cute too. Please continue to follow us NEXT Monday and continue to look at her website for more great ideas! Thanks AMANDA!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Fact Friday - Happy Mother's Day!

    Remember, the Willow Creek office will be open on Mother's Day! There will be a doctor in the office to see patients with URGENT medical problems. We will be in the office starting at 9:30 am. Patients are seen by appointment only. Appointments are booked in chronological order and we will be in the office until the latest scheduled patients is seen.

    The doctors and staff of Willow Creek Pediatrics would like to wish all of you mommy's a very happy Mother's Day!

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Guest Blog: Part two Passionately Curious‏

    We welcome Amanda Morgan from Not Just Cute back again for the second installment of our series on creativity. If you missed the first one, you can get caught up by clicking here.

    Passionately Curious

    Albert Einstein's name is synonymous with genius. The man was brilliant, but what set him apart was not just his ability to master the theories of his day, but to take them one step further. To see what had not been seen and to wonder about what could not yet be known. Einstein himself once said,
    "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."

    Curiosity and creativity are often one and the same. It is the ability to ask, "Why..." and "What if..." It is the ability to think creatively beyond the bounds of what is known, and it is the driving force behind every innovation and advancement in every discipline and at their intersections.

    It is commonly said that children are naturally curious. Sometimes however, that fountain of curiosity becomes blocked with our focus on making sure they have the answers rather than the process of getting them. As was written by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in The Creativity Crisis:

    "Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 question a day. Why, why, why -- sometimes parents just wish it'd stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school they've pretty much stopped asking. It's no coincidence that this same time is when student motivation and engagement plummet. They didn't stop asking questions because they lost interest: it's the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions."

    We do our children a great service by engaging them in constructing knowledge rather than passively receiving it. Nurturing curiosity and teaching with inquiry puts the focus on lighting the fire, rather than just the filling of the pail as William Butler Yeates explained, and it's that fire that drives real learning, real innovation, and real creativity.

    So how can you light the fire of curiosity?
    Here are a few ideas:

    Ask questions. Continue to encourage children to wonder why. Model by wondering aloud yourself, and engaging children in discussions that explore new ideas even when you don't know the answers yourself. Ask what they think about the things they see, the stories they read, and events that unfold around them. It is necessary to give children directions and instruction, but it is vital to engage them in discussion. (Read more about How to Talk When You Teach.) Even seemingly trivial questions create a pattern of wonder. "How do you think those window washers will get back down?" "Why do you think the bus was late today?" "What would happen if we...."

    Explore. The first step is to wonder, but the next is to act. Explore new ideas. Whether it's tweaking your favorite recipe or creating art from science, provide opportunities to act on natural curiosities and observe its outcome. Exploration often begins the cycle again, creating new questions and ideas for new exploration. Expose children to new ideas and they will create new questions.

    Support Passions. If your child is curious about animals, feed that passion with experiences, resources, and discussions. Don't wait for the animal science unit to come around in the school curriculum. Show that you value learning that is intrinsically motivated, not just motivated by a due date.

    Allow for Failure. Curiosity is fostered when children know they are safe to make mistakes. As Thomas Edison said, "Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless." And he would know. His process to invent the light bulb led to thousands of supposed disappointments. But instead of seeing a series of individual failures, he recognized the process leading him, step by step, closer to his goal. Teach children to analyze and learn from mistakes, not to be punished for them. Renown physicist Dr. Michio Kaku worries that an emphasis only on facts and figures and right and wrong answers is "crushing curiosity right out of the next generation."

    Open-Ended Play. Play is a natural conduit for creative curiosity. Allow children time to play. Outdoor play creates a perfect format for exploring nature as well as cultivating rich imaginative play. Indoors, provide children with creative toys that can be used in a variety of ways. Constructive toys like unit blocks, Legos, and marble tracks are a great start. So are props for dramatic play and true art experiences. (Read more about the
    Spectrum of Preschool Arts and Crafts.) Don't underestimate the value of loose parts and "beautiful junk" as well. Sometimes a cardboard box is the best creative toy money can't buy.

    How do YOU keep the children you love and teach passionately curious?

    Another intriguing read:

    Nurturing Curiosity & Inspiring the Pursuit of Discovery {Presentation Zen}

    Amanda Morgan is a full time mom to three busy boys, a part-time trainer and consultant for a non-profit children's organization and author of the ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance, available here. She also writes at Not Just Cute, a blog full of ideas that are more than just cute, for children who are much more than cute too. Please continue to follow us NEXT Monday and continue to look at her website for more great ideas! Thanks AMANDA!

    **Contest results we announced yesterday click here if you missed it and congrats to our winner!
    photo from Wikimedia Commons.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011


    Jennifer Baldassano! Big congrats to Jennifer, the winner of our Spring Facebook/Blog contest! She will be the proud new owner of an Ultra Flip HD Video Camera! can pick this up at the office any time! We would like to thank everyone who participated and made this our biggest contest yet and you got your well visits scheduled to boot! Keep your eyes out for our next BIG giveaway, coming this summer!